It was your birthday. Yesterday.
I realised now that I know so little about you as a person.
Who are you? What are your dreams, your goals and aspiration when you were young?
One of my earliest memories of you was when I was 5. The bell at the kindergarden went off and it was time to go home, I dashed off to the front porch to play with my friends while waiting for you to take me home.
The teacher called my name and I saw you standing with your bike waiving at me. It must have been a Suzuki or Mitsubishi. I remembered feeling kind of odd; most of the kids came to school in buses and cars. And you, with a piece of metal that demanded a lot of attention on the road because of the sound it made. I clenched to you with dear life, afraid that I might fall off the bike. Along with every vrooooooooom-like sound it made.
When I was a kid and had those ghostly encounters, I would go to your bedroom with teddy. In a half-sleep and half-awake state, you hopped onto my bed and fell into deep slumber as soon as you lay on my bed; with snores that would scared the day light out of any soul. I often wonder how did mom put up with your thunderous snoring for 35 years.
Rumor has it that you have waited a year long to ask mom out on a date and that you wrote her tons of letters proclaiming your love. I am glad that you persisted because she is in every way perfect for you. You are the Yin and she is the Yang, you are the cup and she is the saucer.
She accepted you as you are, she endured the unpleasant treatment because of religion differences. She went through all the hardship with you during those days when we were poor. So poor that you had to borrow money from loan shark for my milk power.
And yet, she stayed on.
You must be one helluva lucky fella to have married her.
Father figures were often thought of as authoritative and unapproachable. You were the exact opposite. You were fun and funny. To a point that it was annoying at times, especially when I just wanted to cave in like what introverts do. Nonetheless, your coolness puts the rest of the ‘uncool’ father to shame. Not because they weren’t fun and funny but they because of the front they put up, they missed out the fun of being a father.
When I was a teenager, confused by many with the constant debate of ‘my god is better than your god’; you have taught me how not to take religion too seriously. Which, then became a tipping point of how I viewed life as a whole. I understand now that those who took life too seriously not only ceased to live life to the fullest, but they have also missed out what it meant to be truly alive.
Now that I am older, I see more traces of you in my being. We are both sensitive, fastidious about our personal appearance (ahem!), adaptable in any given situation, love for money (uh huh!) and we are both responsible in the matters of heart.
I am so glad that you are my dad and I am proud to be your daughter.
Happy 67th birthday dad.